There’s been a lot of talk from critics about the Annapolis-founded, Charleston-stationed indie soul crew Little Bird recently, and when you listen to their brand new single “gHost,” it’s not at all hard to see why. “gHost,” the first of four tracks being cut this year from the band’s upcoming record Proxima, is a throwback to the grooves of The Brothers Johnson spiked with a lusty, MGMT-style indie edge that colors every one of the stoic beats with a textured neon radiance. It’s a song that was born to dominate the college radio airwaves, but to call it anything other than an organically cultivated picture window into the group’s artistry just wouldn’t do it justice.
The rhythm is a force to be reckoned with in “gHost,” and it frames the melodies in the vocal, as well as in the guttural guitar moaning near the end of the track, quite elegantly. There are a couple of moments where it feels like the drums are taking on the form of a swinging pendulum counting down the seconds before the bassline rips us asunder to spiritual worlds unknown, but as entrancing as this single becomes, it never abandons the focused hooks defining its chorus in every instance that they’re presented to us in nearly six minutes of running time.
“gHost” benefits from a very indulgent song structure, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it over the top in nature. The guitars definitely aren’t of a virtuosic variety, at least in theory; they’re agents of evocation, much like the starry-eyed kays and blistering bass are. There’s no annoying bombastic bells and whistles for us to try and ignore in the mix, and while Little Bird make literally no attempt to rein in their mammoth melodies – particularly at the halfway point in the track – I think that their embracing excess in this scenario actually draws a lot of their otherwise unnoticeable sonic facets to the surface.
I really like the progressive design of the lyrics in this song, as they help for the words to play out more like fragmented statements from a dreamscape than they do bland pop verses. It’s almost as if each strand of poetry that approaches us in “gHost” is bringing a different degree of emotion to the larger narrative in the music, and though they’re wildly interpretive depending on who is listening to them, I don’t think that they’re too abstract for more casual indie fans to relate to alongside more ardent enthusiasts as well.
Fans of smart indie beats would be quite wise to check out the most recent studio material submitted by Little Bird in “gHost,” if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of what is almost certain to come in their future recordings ala Proxima. “gHost” sees this band exploring their sonic parameters with more gusto and zeal than they’ve ever demonstrated in the past, and I for one can’t wait to hear what they do with this evolved sound next. Theirs is a journey that has only just gotten started, and I plan on keeping a close eye and ear on their work as they continue forward.